Most obese people (those whose body mass index is over 30) truly want to slim down and look better. For many being overweight is how they look. But obesity is more than just how you look on the outside, it’s about your health. According to Bariatric Surgeon Michael Bilof, MD, being severely overweight also causes many chronic health issues, including:
“I think people have a general sense that being overweight is not good for them,” said Dr. Bilof “but I don’t know if they truly understand how carrying all that excess weight around affects their overall health. The extra fat that patients are carrying really effects every system in the body (particularly the heart). The good news is that losing that extra weight can improve almost every system in the body.”
What About Diet and Exercise?
Dr. Bilof urges everyone who is overweight to try and lose the pounds.
“For many people being disciplined in dieting and exercise can do the trick. If you can support your efforts with a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or health coach who can guide you and cheer you on, it can make a real difference in achieving your weight loss goals. For those who can stick to a healthy eating regimen, along with a targeted exercise plan, the results can be amazing. Not only does the weight come off, but you feel healthier, have more energy, and many chronic health problems begin to resolve. The problem is that once someone has a BMI over 40 (meaning they are about 100 lbs. above their ideal weight) the chances of diet and exercise working are much less.”
For those who have tried — and been unsuccessful — with diet and exercise, Dr. Bilof said that bariatric surgery could be a considered option.
“The term bariatric surgery encompasses several surgical procedures performed on the stomach or intestines. These procedures work by either reducing the size of the stomach, making you feel full even after eating less food, or by rerouting the digestive tract so that food bypasses part of your digestive process.”
Dr. Bilof added that for patients who have a BMI of greater than 40 studies clearly show that bariatric surgery is the most successful approach to long term weight loss and improved health.
“Losing the weight is great,” he said “and usually it builds confidence and self-esteem, as well as new healthy patterns of living that sustain ongoing good health. But besides improving your self-image, the patients we’ve seen that have had bariatric surgery often reduce many of their complicated health issues and are able to lower their blood pressure, their cholesterol levels, sometimes reverse their diabetes, sleep better, and feel more flexible and able to move. Bariatric surgery can be a real life changer. This is how losing can make you a winner!”
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